Have you been eating more and more lately because there just seems to be no end to your appetite? Is this sudden expansion of your appetite bothering you because it is making you put on weight? Know that there can be several reasons behind your huge appetite.

Here are 12 possible causes that can explain why you are always hungry:

1 – You consume less proteins

Proteins are needed to maintain healthy functionality of your body. They also play a role in suppressing your appetite. Eating protein-rich foods such as eggs, fish, nuts, legumes, etc. keeps your hunger satisfied for longer. Can’t stop thinking about food? Proteins can help with that too. Hence, add more proteins to your diet, perhaps your appetite is increasing because of a lack of them.

2 – You consume too many carbohydrates

Processed carbs lack fiber, vitamins and minerals. This makes carbohydrates get digested very quickly. This doesn’t fill you up and as a result, you feel hungrier. Refined carbs can also raise blood sugar levels and in turn, insulin. This insulin removes sugar from blood which makes blood sugar levels plummet. Low blood sugar markers indicate that your body needs food which makes you feel hungrier.

3 – You don’t drink enough water

Another reason behind the consistent hunger pangs can be lack of water. Several times thirst is masked by hunger. You think you’re feeling hungry when, in truth, a glass of water is enough to make you feel satisfied. Hence, stay hydrated as water is a natural appetite suppressant. Also, eat fruits and vegetables as they are high in water content.

4 – You don’t consume enough fiber

Not intaking enough fiber can also make you feel hungry. This is because the body takes longer to digest fiber and empties your stomach at a slower rate. Moreover, fiber-rich foods also encourage the release of enzymes that reduce hunger. Hence, eat more foods that have a good quantity of soluble fiber such as oatmeal, oranges, flaxseeds, etc. Consume more fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, whole grains, etc.

5 – You drink too much alcohol

Alcohol expands your appetite. It can reduce the production of hormones that are responsible for suppressing appetite such as leptin. Along with this, alcohol can also cloud your judgement which means heavy drinkers eat more regardless of whether or not they feel hungry. Since over-bingeing on alcohol can increase your calorie intake, you should drink only in moderate amounts or ditch alcohol entirely.

6 – You consume too many liquid calories

Another reason behind your increase in cravings can be that you consume too many liquid calories in the form of smoothies, soups, sodas, etc. Liquids do not satisfy your hunger which is why you tend to feel hungrier. This is because the digestion of liquid foods is comparatively easier. Thus, consume more solid foods as liquid foods do not give your brain the time to signal fullness. This, in turn, makes you feel hungrier.

7 – You exercise a lot

Too much exercise can also make you feel hungrier. Studies show that when you engage in high-intensity workouts for long hours, you tend to feel hungrier sooner. This is because people who workout too much have faster metabolisms. Hence, the calories they consume are quickly converted into energy. The only wat to eat less in such a situation is to reduce your exercise intensity and duration.

8 – You are stressed

Stress can also make you feel hungrier. This is because stress promotes the production of cortisol which can have a hunger-inducing effect. This also explains why stressed or depressed individuals are hit by bouts of emotional eating which leads to obesity. Obesity can make one stress more which can, in turn, make one overeat and the vicious cycle continues.

9 – You eat too fast

Eating too quickly does not give your brain a chance to signal fullness which makes you consume more food. When you eat slowly, you tend to feel fuller. Research backs this as well. Eating slowly encourages the production of hunger-curbing hormones as well. Hence, chew thoroughly and enjoy your food.

10 – You are sleep deprived

Not catching the recommended hours of sleep may also be responsible for increased hunger. You see, sleep is essential for several bodily functions. Lack of sleep can increase the release of ghrelin which is the hormone that makes you feel hungrier. What’s more, sleeping enough releases leptin which is the hormone that suppresses your appetite.

11 – You are ill

You may have a physical or mental disorder which is causing you to feel hungrier. Take for instance, diabetes. Excess hunger comes with diabetes. You can also have an overactive thyroid, a condition termed hyperthyroidism. PMS, depression or anxiety can also be the culprits behind your increased appetite. ­­­­

12 – You are experiencing a side effect of a medication

If you are on meds, know that increased hunger can be one of its side effects. There are several drugs that can increase your appetite. If you think that this raise in your hunger markers is something of concern, be sure to consult your doctor for an alternative solution.

There can be several reasons behind your growling stomach. Perhaps you are sleep deprived or overly stressed? Certain dietary and lifestyle choices can also lead to increasing your appetite. Moreover, some medications or underlying medical conditions can also make you feel hungrier.